Just before I moved home for the summer after the spring semester at William and Mary, my passport arrived in the mail with a new addition: my student visa! It is a sticker on the first 'visas' page. It's blue and says I can't enter New Zealand on that visa after February 15, 2009, and that I can extend my stay until then if I want. Of course, that won't really happen, but it's nice to know. My forms are all in, and I should hear about my housing assignment within the next few weeks. Literally, all I need to do is pack and go.
I have been reading some travelogues with the intent of finding cool destinations. During the last week of classes, I met up with two girls who had been to Otago before. One of them, Kristen, was there last spring (for us). She was really nice, and quite excited for me. She had written up two lists of things to do: one on the South Island in general, and one of things in Dunedin. It was through meeting her that I learned how to actually pronounce Dunedin, in the proper Kiwi manner. Kristen went through AustraLearn, and had a fairly good experience with them. I was really happy talking to her, because she seemed to have a lot of the same attitudes and interests as me, and the fact that she absolutely loved it makes me think I will too. She thought the city of Dunedin was charming, which was not the way Stephanie viewed it. Stephanie was there last fall, so she went during the same season I did. She told me how miserably cold I'll be. That is the one thing I'm not really looking forward to. She gave me some traveling suggestions and also gave me suggestions on which grocery store to go to, and other really practical everyday types of things. Both of those meetings combined will be really valuable for me, I know.
Now I just need to figure out what to pack, and get excited (well, I already am)!